Student films screen at festival

Whitney Cyr

A&E Editor


You are given a piñata named Isabelle, a genre, a single line of dialogue, and seven days to put together a film.

Such was the past week for some Keene State College students entered into the 7 Day Film Competition. With nothing more than their prop and the line of dialogue, groups of students skillfully directed and produced a short film that was screened at the Colonial Theatre on April 13. The film that won the most awards, including the Founders’ Award as voted on by a panel of judges was “Superhero” by a group of students who called themselves Boulder Dash. Some of the other films screened included “The Diary of a Hipster” by The Tune Squad, “The Hunt” by the Vivacious Videographers, “Unicort” by Rad and Bad, and “A Fist Full of Errors” by Hot Peanut Butter. Overall, there were eleven total entries in the competition, with each one representing a different genre, such as western, mocumentary, dance, and hipster. Most of the people entered into the competition weren’t even film majors, according to event coordinator and junior Emily Montplaisir. Montplaisir said a lot of money was put into this event and she applied for a Pepsi Grant a very long time before the event was underway. “It was open to all students at KSC and I think it allowed the school to show their creativity and freedom,” she said. “We were very, very impressed with some of the work that was entered. One of the non-filmmakers films, the western one, was very impressive.” After all the films were screened, the crowd was allowed to vote for their favorite film for the “Viewer’s Choice Award,” and the award went to “Superhero” by Boulder Dash. About a retired superhero who has to go to rehab, the film received a loud round of applause when the credits rolled.

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“I came to the film competition to watch the films and be entertained,” senior Paul Jamison said. Jamison said his favorite film at the competition was “The Diary of a Hipster,” which chronicled the day in the life of a hipster, wearing plaid, smoking American Spirits, and talking about how he didn’t feel like conforming. Sophomore Alex Petrilla, made the film “The Hunt,” a mocumentary about unicorn hunters. “It was really fun. The only really difficult thing was the weather because we wanted to shoot outside,” she said. “We decided to focus on the fact that the piñata was a unicorn, so we just played with that.” Petrilla said she was nervous about acting in front of the camera because she had never acted before.

“I was a little nervous, but it was just our friends doing it together. Some other groups had auditions and casting and everything, but we just had our friends,” she said. “It was also cool to see what everyone else came up with.” Freshman Ben Mailloux, created the film “Phoenix” with his friends Andrew DiKristina and Meghan Bouffard, both freshmen.  Their film showed their piñata being burned, only to reveal that it had been burned and edited backwards.

“We got the piñata and burning it was just sort of a joke,” DiKristina said. “Then we just decided to do it and play it backwards with some really creepy voiceover.”

George Barber, a senior, and Andrew Hodgdon, a junior, won the “Founders Award” along with their  fellow filmmakers for their film “Superhero.” For winning, the group received the now-discontinued Flip cameras. “Putting together the film was very systematic,” Barber said. “On Monday, we wrote the script, on Tuesday we did the casting. It came together quite easily.” Barber said the script for the film was produced in an hour-and-a-half. Despite not being involved in filmmaking, Barber was surprised his group’s film won because it was his first time being involved in making a film.

“It was awesome to be a part of the film fest. This is the first thing I’ve ever won for filmmaking,” Hodgdon said. “Most of my group is graduating, but I would definitely like to do this next year, though I would be a lone ranger. Maybe George can come back for a cameo.” Their film also won the “Best Acting” award. “The voting was very close between ‘Superhero’ and ‘The Diary of a Hipster,’” Montplaisir said. “We’re definitely doing it next year. We’re going to start organizing it in October and have the competition in January because I think around this time of year, finals are coming up, so more people would be able to participate.” Other films that gained recognition were “The Hunt” for “Best Representation of the Genre,” “Unicort” for Best Use of Prop and Character,”  and also for “Best Soundtrack.” “The Diary of a Hipster” won for “Best Use of Dialogue,” “Her Purpose” won for “Best Use of Credits,” “A Fist Full of Errors” won for “Best WTF? Moment.”

Whitney Cyr can be contacted at

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